Wednesday, May 31, 2023

May Beauty

 Every year I swear that April is the most beautiful month in the garden, but then May comes along and proves me wrong. I think it's because freeze warnings are over, and annuals can be planted. I have a great fondness for my favorite containers planted up with color themed annuals. I always have a color scheme planned out in advance, and it takes many trips to various nurseries to gather it all up. I start buying them before the weather is safe for planting, then keep all of it in my sunny kitchen until the frost date passes. I never quite make it to May 15th, but I haven't been burned yet. Fingers crossed for next year! 

But before we look at my garden, let me tell you about the trip I made up to Michigan in early May, to my hometown on the shores of Lake Michigan. The main purpose of the trip is the see the Tulip Time Festival in nearby Holland Michigan. But there are other sights to see, mainly Fernwood Botanical Garden, and the scenic beaches. Barring rain, every day there ends with me watching a beach sunset. Sometimes I go to my favorite beach and just climb around the dunes snapping photos. I love every minute of it, whether it's cool or warm. Now the day I drove up to Holland was absolutely perfect, meaning everyone else also decided it was just the right time to attend. The main attractions downtown were inaccessible to me, not a parking spot to be found anywhere. But I know other spots to enjoy the tulips, and made the best of it. 

When I returned home, it was time to plant! Even though I had already gathered countless annuals, I had also visited an enormous nursery up near my alma mater, and brought home even more plants. But each one had a planned home, so I began to fill up the planters. My color theme this year is yellow, and I'm really pleased with my choice. It's so bright and sunny everywhere I look. 

Here are a few other pops of yellow! 

Of course annuals are not the only flowers here in the Nest. Perennials pop up from their winter's rest, and each time, it's something of a surprise. Not a surprise exactly,  just a fresh welcome every year. 

Early in May, there were still a few tulips to enjoy at home. I was lax in my tulip planting last fall, so my display wasn't quite as enthusiastic as usual. But there were still plenty of tulips to love. However, I'll do better at planting my bulbs on time this fall. 

By the end of the month, the roses started to put on a show. Sometimes I think that I should replace my roses with something less needy. But once they start blooming, I forgive them for their neediness and just enjoy the flowers. 

Here are a couple of other spots that I don't show you very often, my herb garden, and my fairy garden. Both were refurbished a bit this year. I've had a lavender plant growing in the small top layer of my herb garden for almost ten years, and it thrived there. But it had grown so well that it nearly covered the bottom tiers, so I replaced it with a dwarf variety. Now there's room for everything, imagine that! I added and subtracted a few things in my fairy garden too, and I especially like the new "moss" lawn.  

I'm starting to see a few butterflies in the nest, but they rarely allow me to photograph them. This was as close as I could get to this red spotted purple, but the tufted bird dropping moth allowed me to take photos. And yes, that's his real name! We see many birds making their home here, and spotted this bluebird recently. He didn't much like me taking his photo either, so I had to settle for this quick shot without the proper setting. And I did add my annual goldfish to my water garden! 

Hubs has been busy with his vegetable garden, and we've started to enjoy the fruits of his labor. We have lots of spicy radishes to nibble, and lettuce for salads. Soon we'll have sugar snap peas too. The summer veggies are all planted now, with seedlings popping up daily. Looking forward to tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and beans! 

Because the month of May keeps me so busy outside, nothing much happens indoors. Cooking and housework always take a back seat this time of year. I did take the time to change my tray to a beach theme. I picked up this pretty vase, and have been keeping it filled with more yellow flowers. And my poetry stones came out of storage. I always make little poems with them, to please only myself. I also noticed that my newly painted birdhouse is already filled with a nest! I paint these cute birdhouses, assuming that they'll simply be decorative. But for the last couple years, they've been used, but there's no way to clean it out at the end of the season. So I'm looking for a real birdhouse to paint, with a clean-out door.

And here we are waiting for June to arrive in a few days. Like many of you, I find summer to be delightful. It's hot and buggy, but oh the flowers! It's that time of year when sunsets can be seen from my front porch, but we haven't had any dramatic ones yet. I think we need stormy weather to bring better sunsets, but instead, we've had dry weather. Still, here are a few sunsets to end our visit. Thanks for coming, as usual. 


  1. Oh Robin your enthusiasm is an inspiration! Beautiful stuff

    1. Well thank you very much! I wish I knew who you are though!

  2. I agree that May brings the most beautiful flowers. I think it is my favorite month. I love seeing what's growing around your house and how you design your planters. Love the yellow theme. I don't think I've ever seen your herb and fairy gardens! Love both.

    1. My herb garden is often wild and overgrown. But this spring, I replaced a few of the wild things, and suddenly it felt more picture worthy.

  3. Annual goldfish? But perhaps they have a short life anyway?

    I only get a fresh start in my garden when we move house. But this one has reached a point of needing refreshing.

    Such wonderful views on the beach with the pier!

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    2. I suppose the goldfish aren’t actually annual, but by fall their numbers are greatly reduced. I used to try bringing them inside into a bowl, but it didn’t work very well. Now we throw the survivors into the subdivision retention pond to fend for themselves. It doesn’t have any outlet to public waters, so I don’t worry about them escaping and becoming a nuisance. I do always wonder if they continue to live deep in the waters! But I don’t really mind if they are eaten by wildlife, that’s nature’s way also.


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